Governor Northam, Crack Down on Nursing Homes, Not Restaurants

By Carol J. Bova

Last week Julie Henderson, director of the Virginia Department of Health (VDH) Office of Environmental Health Services, said her agency was going to request $6 million for 92 positions to educate the public and businesses about executive orders and how to enforce them.

If there is $6 million available for enforcement and education personnel, send them out to the nursing homes, correctional facilities and other congregate settings. Restaurants are not causing the deaths and suffering occurring from those outbreaks.

Of 956 virus deaths reported since June 1, 498 or 52% were from long term care facilities. Since the outbreak tracking began, long-term care facilities were responsible 1,294 of 1,370 outbreak deaths – that’s 94.5% of all outbreak deaths.

Let citizens make their own choices about going to restaurants. Post a warning if a restaurant isn’t meeting your standards, but shutting them down based on a complaint system isn’t going to save lives in the same way enforcing basic hygiene and infection controls in nursing homes will. Put the money where it’s going to make a difference.


 

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